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One arrested in Avenues shootings

One man was arrested Monday and more than a dozen taken in for questioning as police continued to sort out a large gang-related melee this past weekend that left one man dead and two others injured.

The search continues for a juvenile believed to be the person who shot and killed a 35-year-old man Sunday night at the Terrace Hills Park parking lot on 900 East and 11th Avenue. Neighbors called police about 7:50 p.m. to report hearing between 10 to 30 gunshots, said Salt Lake City police detective Dwayne Baird.

The shooting victim, whose name was not released Monday, was shot with an assault rifle, Baird said. He was a documented gang member, he said.

Two other victims, including a 51-year-old man, were taken by friends to LDS Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police hadn't yet determined the specific cause of those injuries, Baird said Monday, adding that all of the injured men were also believed to be gang members.

In fact, Baird said Monday the incident appeared to involve all members of the same gang and was not a dispute between rival gang members.

Between 21 to 30 people were believed to be involved in the fight, Baird said. What prompted the ruckus or whether it was a prearranged meeting or retaliation for a previous incident is still being investigated Monday.

Eight people from the Terrace Hills incident were taken to police headquarters for questioning. Based on information collected from witnesses and those allegedly involved, detectives began looking for a vehicle that belonged to one of the alleged gunmen.

That vehicle was found at an apartment complex near 4500 South and 800 East. A SWAT team arrived at 1 a.m. Monday and began to evacuate surrounding tenants.

Asmodee Page got a knock on his door about 4:30 a.m.

"I got to the door and it was the police asking us to evacuate," he said. "They didn't give us a reason. They took us to Smith's, gave us something to eat and drink."

Page said behind the two uniformed officers who knocked on the doors, he could see about 30 SWAT team members waiting in the wings.

"I've never seen nothing like this," he said.

Tenant Woody Noble and his family were also evacuated after receiving an early morning wake-up.

"(The police) wouldn't leave the doorway until everyone got out," he said.

A total of 22 apartments were evacuated. The evacuees were taken to the parking lot of a nearby Smith's store where a UTA bus was brought so they could get inside and stay warm.

About 7:15 a.m. the SWAT team entered the apartment where they received information that one of the men wanted in connection with the shooting, who may have been heavily armed, was inside.

That man and another woman surrendered without further incident. Monte Dane Fox, 23, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of attempted criminal homicide. He was accused of shooting one of the victims that was wounded, Baird said.

The woman was taken in for questioning but not arrested Monday.

While that man was being arrested, investigators received additional information that another person possibly involved in the melee was in another apartment in the same complex. Five people inside the apartment eventually gave themselves up and were taken in for questioning.

Baird said the SWAT operation couldn't have gone any better.

"We were prepared for the worst," he said.

A total of 17 people were taken into custody Sunday and Monday, including the people who were injured in the melee. Only Fox was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. The others were determined not to be directly involved with the shooting and were released, Baird said.

Investigators continued Monday to look for a 17-year-old male allegedly responsible for the homicide. Snyder said investigators had a name and knew who they were after.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com